Local and State Headlines for Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Icy Roads In WNC This Morning

(Undated) -- It could be slick driving conditions for some drivers in Western North Carolina this morning. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Buncombe, Henderson and Transylvania counties along with the mountain areas of Polk and Rutherford through four this afternoon. Any freezing rain is expected to turn over to rain this morning. Higher mountain elevations around the Boone area are under a winter storm warning.

Campaign Consultant Denies Knowledge Of Ballot Harvesting Scheme

(Raleigh, NC) -- The top campaign consultant for Republican Mark Harris is denying he knew about an illegal ballot harvesting operation in last year's election. Andy Yates testified yesterday at the state Board of Elections hearing that is investigating possible voter fraud in the 9th District Congressional race. Political operative Leslie Dowless has been accused of paying off workers to collect absentee ballots. The hearing resumes today in Raleigh, as the board considers whether to certify the results or call for a new election.

Inmate Accused Of Threatening Alleged Rape Victim

(Buncombe County, NC) -- A Buncombe County inmate is being accused of threatening his alleged rape victim. Asheville Police say Clarence Octetree [[ OCK-tah-tree ]] sent a letter last week that threatened to harm her relatives if she testified against him in court. Octetree has been in jail for more than a year after he was arrested for an alleged kidnapping and rape at his Annandale Avenue apartment. A felony charge of intimidating or interfering with a witness has been added.

Marion Man Sought After Meth Found At Home

(McDowell County, NC) -- McDowell County investigators say they found a pound of meth at a home in Marion last Thursday. Deputies are now looking for Steven Lynn Milam. Close to 20 grams of marijuana in addition to the meth was seized from his Hicks Chapel Loop home. He is facing charges of drug trafficking and possession.

Tuesday Night Wreck Closes I-40 East

(McDowell County, NC) -- Police are investigating an accident that closed down the eastbound lanes of I-40 in McDowell County. WLOS-TV says the North Carolina Hazard Team was called out close to U.S. 70 after a truck carrying acid jackknifed. Ice was reportedly causing hazardous driving conditions on the interstate when the accident happened just before 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Marshall Town Leaders Oppose Asphalt Plant

(Marshall, NC) -- Leaders in the town of Marshall are against a proposed asphalt plant in Madison County. The board of alderman approved a resolution this week that opposes the project planned by the McCrary Stone Service Quarry. The resolution claims that the plant could negatively affect the health of people in the neighborhood. The zoning board is still scheduled to consider the company's requested permits for the site next month.

Campaign Consultant Denies Knowledge Of Ballot Harvesting Scheme

(Raleigh, NC) -- The top campaign consultant for Republican Mark Harris is denying he knew about an illegal ballot harvesting operation in last year's election. Andy Yates testified yesterday at the state Board of Elections hearing that is investigating possible voter fraud in the 9th District Congressional race. Political operative Leslie Dowless has been accused of paying off workers to collect absentee ballots. The hearing resumes today in Raleigh, as the board considers whether to certify the results or call for a new election.

Former Governor Wants 2016 Election Investigated

(Charlotte, NC) -- A former North Carolina governor is calling on the elections board to investigate the 2016 election. Republican Pat McCrory said on WBT-AM's morning talk show yesterday that absentee voting problems could be happening in multiple counties. The comments came in response to the allegations of ballot fraud in the ninth district congressional race. He says his request to have the same type of allegations investigated in 2016 were ignored.

CMPD Investigates Stabbing And Wreck Connection

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is looking to see if a Tuesday morning stabbing and wreck are connected. Witnesses told officers that a white Nissan drove away from the scene of a stabbing at a Sugar Creek Road Shell Station. The same suspected car reportedly slammed into another car and a power pole a short time later, which sparked a fire on the roof of an Eastway Drive home. There's no word on any charges for the two men found in the car.

Student Found With Gun At High School

(Charlotte, NC) -- A student is facing disciplinary action for allegedly bringing a gun to the South Mecklenburg High School campus yesterday. The school's principal sent out a message to parents saying there was no threat to anyone. The discovery comes as CMS has been conducting random safety screenings at area high schools since late January. This incident reportedly didn't take part during a random screening.

Teacher Charged With DWI After Wreck

(Charlotte, NC) -- A Garinger High School teacher is facing DWI charges from a Sunday night wreck. A state trooper says Tameisha Guthrie ran her car off an I-77 ramp into some trees. She reportedly told investigators that she was a CMS teacher. Highway patrol also charged Guthrie for allegedly resisting arrest at the scene.

Flash Flooding Possible For Charlotte Area

(Charlotte, NC) -- Flash flooding is possible in Charlotte through the weekend as unsettled weather moves into the region. The National Weather Service says rain is likely everyday through at least Saturday. Counties directly north of Mecklenburg are under a winter weather advisory until four this afternoon. Most of Western North Carolina and the northern piedmont are under a threat of ice.

Durham County Schools Are Delayed This Morning For Winter Weather

(Durham Co., NC) -- Durham County schools are going to be on a delay for winter weather this morning. Forecasters are calling for freezing rain and sleet today. Counties north and west of Wake are under winter weather advisories until at least noon. Roads and bridges could be slick through the afternoon and drivers are asked to be careful. Tomorrow is looking up with highs in the 60s and we could see temperatures in the mid 70s this weekend.

Request To Lower Bond For The Alleged Ramsey Street Rapist Was Denied

(Fayetteville, NC) -- A Cumberland County judge isn't lowering bail for the alleged Ramsey Street Rapist. Darold Bowden was arrested in August in connection with six rapes in the North Fayetteville area. He's being held on nearly 19-million-dollars bond. Yesterday in court, prosecutors said they're investigating two more rapes that could be connected to him. Despite dozens of supporters coming to court in support of Bowden, the request to lower his bond was denied.

Campaign Consultant Denies Knowing About Ballot Harvesting Scheme

(Raleigh, NC) -- The hearing into possible voter fraud in a North Carolina congressional continues today. This week the North Carolina State Board of Elections is hearing testimony and looking at evidence of possible voter fraud in the 9th Congressional District race. Witnesses say they were paid by McCrae Dowless for absentee ballots used in an illegal ballot harvesting operation. Dowless is accused of sending people out to collect absentee ballots for Republican Mark Harris, which is illegal. Harris beat Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes, but the election board twice refused to certify the results. Dowless has refused to testify at the hearing unless he is given immunity from prosecution.

North Carolina Teacher Killed In Animal Attack

(Beaufort County, NC) -- Investigators in North Carolina are trying to figure out what type of animal attacked and killed a 77-year-old teacher. Beaufort County deputies say Brenda Hamilton died Monday after being found severely injured in the rural community of Pantego on Friday. Canine DNA was found on her clothing, but the sheriff's office says preliminary results don't differentiate between canines like wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs. Hamilton had been a teacher at Pungo Christian Academy in Bellhaven since 1968. Social media postings by the school called her "our Pungo angel" adding that "Mrs. Hamilton has gained her wings."

The Autopsy Report Is Released For The Intern Killed By A Lion

(Caswell Co., NC) -- The autopsy report is out for the intern killed in December by a lion in a Caswell County animal preserve. The report released yesterday says the lion punctured 22-year-old Alex Black's jugular and skull while dragging her around by the neck and head. The report shows that firefighters used a fire hose to try to get the lion off her, but it didn't work. Tranquilizers didn't work either and eventually deputies had to shoot the beast eight times to kill it and get to Black. By the time they got to her it was too late.

Police In Dunn Search For A Statue Arsonist

(Dunn, NC) -- Officials are searching for whoever burned a World War Two general's statue in Dunn. Officials say on Thursday night someone scorched a white marble statue outside the Major General William C. Lee Airborne Museum with a flammable liquid. Major Lee is known as the Father of the U.S. Airborne Army. The museum says they will start cleaning and repairing the statue soon. They said they're looking through surveillance footage to catch the jerk that did this.

Campaign Consultant Denies Knowing About Ballot Harvesting Scheme

(Raleigh, NC) -- The top campaign consultant for North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris denies he knew about an illegal ballot harvesting operation in last year's election. Andy Yates testified yesterday at a State Board of Elections hearing. The board has been investigating possible voter fraud in the 9th Congressional District race. The hearing hopes to resolve the last open seat in Congress. It continues today.

Two People Arrested At Home Where Baby Was Found Dead

(Thomasville, NC) -- Two people are under arrest on drug and other charges after a suspicion incident at a Thomasville Verizon store. Police say a 23-year-old Kara Garnsey went into the store and pretended to be a detective investigating a federal crime. An employee called the real police, and the woman was arrested at her home on Broad Street. Forty-year-old James Lavancha was also taken into custody. This is not the first time officers have responded to the property -- back in November, a three-week-old baby was found dead there.

Man Accused Of Child Rape In Iredell Co. Arrested Along Border

(Iredell Co., NC) -- A man accused of raping a child in Iredell County is under arrest after agents caught him trying to cross the border in Texas. Twenty-year-old Jesse Jacinto is charged with felony statutory rape of a child. He was detained by border patrol and extradited back to Iredell County on Monday. Jacinto is being held on a 250-thousand-dollar bond.

Man Charged In Hit-And-Run Involving Woman, Infant Child

(Greensboro, NC) -- A man is charged in connection with a hit-and-run involving a woman and her baby in Greensboro. It happened one week ago at the intersection of East Wendover and Gatewood avenues. Police say 32-year-old Chris Carter hit the woman's vehicle, causing it to overturn. Neither the woman nor the baby were hurt. Carter is charged with hit-and-run, driving on a revoked license and failure to stop at a red light.

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